Bradie Tennell wins U.S. title; Mirai Nagasu 2nd; Ashley Wagner 4th

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Bradie Tennell is your U.S. champion. Silver medalist Mirai Nagasu appears headed back to the Olympics after tearfully being left off the 2014 team.

And bronze medalist Karen Chen will round out the three-woman U.S. Olympic team over fourth-place Ashley Wagner, should a committee stick to the standings from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday night.

But that’s not a sure thing.

Wagner, the three-time national champion and face of U.S. women’s skating, placed fourth for the second straight nationals in an Olympic year.

In 2014, Wagner was placed on the Olympic team over third-place Nagasu. Will a committee using this criteria of results from the past year put Wagner on the team again?

Wagner said she was underscored and deserved a spot on the Olympic team.

VIDEO: Wagner ‘furious’ about nationals scores

The Olympic team of three women — again, not necessarily the top three at nationals — will be announced Saturday at 8 a.m. ET on TODAY.

The U.S. Championships continue Saturday with the pairs and men’s free skates on NBC and NBCSN and streaming on NBCOlympics.com.

NATIONALS: Full Results | TV Schedule

Tennell, 19, has been a revelation since placing ninth at the 2017 Nationals. She took bronze in her Grand Prix debut at Skate America on Thanksgiving weekend and entered nationals with the two highest scores among Americans this season.

Tennell’s jumping was nearly impeccable in both programs where every other top U.S. woman had struggles.

She topped the short program by seven tenths of a point and the free skate by nearly five points, with Nagasu runner-up both nights.

“I can’t believe it,” Tennell, the 2015 U.S. junior champion, said on NBC. “I can’t put it into words. … I think the sky’s the limit for me.”

Nagasu, 24, matched her best finish at nationals since winning her only title in 2008. She made the 2010 Olympic team, was fourth at those Winter Games, and topped the 2010 Worlds short program but never reached those levels internationally again.

Her most memorable skate may have been the 2014 U.S. Championships exhibition, when she tearfully performed hours after she was left off the Olympic team in favor of Wagner.

She added the triple Axel this season and landed it messy in both programs but was given credit for the jump. Quite the longevity for the Californian who fell on a double Axel in her 2008 Nationals free skate.

Chen won last year’s national title and was fourth at the 2017 Worlds, two results that boost her resume in the eyes of the selection committee.

In 2014, Wagner had the credentials as defending U.S. champion and top U.S. woman in international competition. She has not been at that level in more than one year.

Wagner, in her first time competing her “La La Land” free skate on Friday, singled a planned triple Salchow as part of a combination. She also under-rotated a late triple Lutz, two-footing the landing.

When she received her score, lower than her free skate at the last three nationals, Wagner shook her head from left to right and raised her eyebrows in concern.

Wagner was in danger after placing fifth in Wednesday’s short program. She has had two poor seasons — by her standards — since winning the 2016 World silver medal.

It may have been her final competition.

It appears none of the Sochi Olympians will make it back for PyeongChang.

Gracie Gold, the top U.S. woman in Sochi, is sitting out nationals after receiving treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. Gold is in San Jose to support the competing skaters and tweeting up a storm.

The third 2014 U.S. Olympian, Polina Edmunds, withdrew before the free skate due to right foot pain, according to her social media.

Edmunds, the youngest U.S. competitor across all sports in Sochi, was seventh in the short program. She missed the entire 2016-17 season due to a bone bruise in her right foot and was ranked 13th among U.S. women this season going into nationals.

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Eliud Kipchoge sets next marathon

Eliud Kipchoge
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Eliud Kipchoge will race the London Marathon on April 26 before he is expected to defend his Olympic title in Japan on Aug. 9, which would mark the shortest break between marathons of his career.

Kipchoge, who in his last 26.2-mile effort became the first person to break two hours at the distance, won all four of his London Marathon starts, including breaking the course record in 2016 and 2019.

His time this past April 28 — 2:02:37 — is the third-fastest time in history. Kipchoge has the world record of 2:01:39 set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Oct. 12 was not in a record-eligible race.

Kipchoge’s previous shortest break between marathons came in 2016, when he also ran London and the Olympics. The Olympics will be two weeks earlier in 2020 than in 2016.

Kipchoge, 35, has won 11 of 12 marathons since moving to road racing after failing to make Kenya’s 2012 Olympic track team.

He has yet to race the two most prestigious marathons in the U.S. — Boston and New York City — but has said they are on his bucket list.

MORE: Eliud Kipchoge opines on shoe technology debate

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Canadians become first female doubles luge team in World Cup

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WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless made luge history Saturday, becoming the first female team to compete in a World Cup doubles race.

The 16-year-olds from Whistler combined to finish 22nd in a field of 23 sleds, though that seemed largely irrelevant. There have been four-woman teams in what is typically called four-man bobsledding, but luge has never seen a pairing like this until now.

The German sled of Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the race in 1 minute, 16.644 seconds. Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt finished second and the Russian team of Vsevolod Kashkin and Konstantin Korshunov placed third for their first medal of the season.

The U.S. team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman placed 11th.

But the story was the Canadian teens, who qualified for the World Cup event on Thursday. They were nearly a half-second behind any other finisher and almost 2.7 seconds back of Eggert and Benecken. But they’ll forever be able to say that they were winning the race at one point — a technicality because they were the first ones down the hill at the Whistler Sliding Center, but accurate nonetheless.

The only sled they beat was the Italian team of Ivan Nagler and Fabian Malleier, who crashed in the second heat.

There are women’s singles and men’s singles races on the World Cup luge circuit, but there is no rule saying doubles teams must be composed of two men. There have been more female doubles racers at the junior level in recent years, and it was generally considered to be just a matter of time before it happened at the World Cup level.

That time became Saturday.

Canada had the chance to qualify a second sled into the doubles field because some teams typically on the circuit chose to skip this weekend’s stop, and Nash and Corless got into by successfully finishing a Nations Cup qualifying race on Thursday.

They were 11th in that race out of 11 sleds, more than a full second behind the winner and nearly a half-second behind the closest finisher. But all they had to do was cross the line without crashing to get into Saturday’s competition, and earned their spot in the luge history books as a result.

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